Time to change the SMART goals – Part 1 | Work Series

It will be time for all corporate workers to work on the fiscal or calendar 2022 goals. I accidentally designed a new method as part of an experiment to help my kids plan for their academic projects and my personal goals.

Read time: just over a min.

First, let’s go back a few decades.

In the early 1960s, Ford Motor Company wanted to get into the small, inexpensive vehicles market gaining ground. The company declared an ambitious goal: by 1970, Ford would produce a vehicle that’s “under $2,000 and 2,000 pounds.”

Ford’s engineers and designers rallied toward these focused goals, and by 1970, the company started production on its latest innovation: the Ford Pinto.

The goal was SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound

There was just one tiny problem.

The “under $2,000 and 2,000 pounds goal.” was too specific; it didn’t address critical issues like quality or safety. The engineers, distracted by their narrow goal, overlooked a serious design flaw related to the positioning of the fuel tank: the Pinto could ignite upon impact.

The project was successful, but the product failed.

All the boxes of a SMART goal were checked, but it did not allow concessions to include the viability factor and failed to deliver on its promise.

Before we rip-off the SMART goals, a brief history:

According to Wikipedia, the origin of the SMART acronym can be traced as far back as the late 19th century, where renowned philosopher Elbert Hubbard promoted the concept of using a framework for defining goals. The SMART concept was taught in Leadership Management programs in the 1970s that Paul J. Meyer authored. It is, however, generally accepted that the SMART acronym was first written down in 1981, facilitated by George Doran. Since then, the acronym gained popularity initially in the government and consulting circles before making its way into the main steam corporate world.

More recently, the SMART goals became SMARTER with extensions E and R.

Evaluate – Continuous evaluation of the results to ensure the goals are on track
Readjust – Readjust the approach to reach the goals

Like everything, the generation of SMART and SMARTER goals have lived its shelf lives, and now it’s time to change. Not just a change, but a rewrite of the method altogether, a new framework for the New Age.

Time for a change.

I wanted the new way to be flexible to have the rigour of focus and be fungible to the approach and the goal itself.

I learnt this first-hand through my blog writing. I would start working on a topic (my goal), but the writing would evolve into a different topic altogether. My ‘goal’ often could not be met, but I would produce a better post at the end, which would not have served the content well if I had stuck to the original topic.

I call this new method: ELASTIC Goals.

New Elastic Goals

Let’s dive into it next week.

Bye for now.



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